What Fish Can You Catch With A Fly Rod (Catch 22+ Fish Species)

Fly fishing is one of the most renowned and popular angling technique. Anglers are predators and love to use the fly rod to catch different fish species. Every angler is curious on knowing what fish can you catch with a fly rod!

The fly rod gives an easiest way to catch fish from different water resources despite the environment and other weather conditions. In this article, you will learn what fish can you catch with a fly rod in freshwater and saltwater using a fly rod. Let’s jump to it.

What fish can you catch with a fly rod?

There are a lot of different fish that you can catch with a fly fishing rod in freshwater and saltwater bodies. The artificial bait attracts fish; many fish imitate the bait to eat food.

You can make artificial baits from flies, birds feathers, insects, and synthetic fiber. For your ease, this article describes the fresh and saltwater fish species separately.

And these are as follows:

1. Freshwater fish species to catch with a fly fishing rod

Freshwater fish live in rivers, lakes, and streams, and you can use a fly rod to catch freshwater fish. Some of the common freshwater fish that you can catch with a fly rod is:

  1. Trout 
  2. Bass
  3. Carp and Chub
  4. Pike
  5. Salmon
  6. Catfish
  7. Grayling
  8. Bluegill or Sunfish
  9. Steelhead
  10. Crappie
  11. Tilapia
  12. Perch

1.1 Trout with a fly rod

Trout is a freshwater fish species. It has dark spots on the skin, and you can easily see them on the water surface. Trout is one of the most popular fishing among anglers to catch in freshwater.

Trout is easy to catch with fly fishing rod. You can use artificial baits such as the nymph as a natural food source for catching it. Also learn how to catch trout on a fly rod in winter season by following simple tips and tricks.

1.2 Bass with a fly rod

Bass is the most common fish species in the world. You can easily find them in freshwater, even largemouth and smallmouth bass.

The bass fish is easy to catch with fly rods because it is versatile and fond of flies. So you can use dry flies and wet flies to catch the bass fish. Casting method of bass is different in winter and spring season. Learn how to catch bass in winter with a fly fishing rod.

Bass is among the most popular fish and each year we have a lot of tournaments and events. Anglers and fisher junkies enthusiastically take part in these tournaments. So it is extremely important if you have a solid information regarding catching bass in different season.

Also find complete guides:

1.3 Carp and chub with a fly rod

The chub and carp fish species are related to the same family genus. These fishes live in freshwater resources like lakes, river etc.

They are available in different shapes, sizes, and varieties. Casting them with a fly rod is easy, and you will have good experience of catching them.

1.4 Pike with a fly rod

Pike is an interesting fish to catch on a fly rod. It belongs to the trout fish species and provides various opportunities to catch heavy or large fish.

The flies imitate the fish, and fly rods use fluorocarbon leaders to catch the pike.

1.5 Salmon with a fly rod

Using the nymph, you can catch salmon fish with the help of fly rods. Try to shake the rod in continuous jerks that present your nymph as a natural bait to salmon.

The nymph sinks the water, making salmon tempting to eat. When it hooked, the nymph pulled back the line and released it from a fly rod.

1.6 Catfish with a fly rod

Fly fishing rods are best for catching catfish. The catfish are heavy and like to eat the big lures, leeches, and full-size buggers.

Catfish is a specie that is commonly available worldwide. A heavy sinker will help you catch catfish on a fly rod at the bottom of freshwater.

1.7 Grayling with a fly rod

Dry flies are crucial if you want to catch grayling on a fly fishing rod. In streams, swing flies work best to move grayling.

They help you explore the subsurface of water and think of natural food.

1.8 Bluegill or sunfish with a fly rod

You can catch the bluegill or sunfish with the help of fast-action fly rods. These fish need a high-power rod to fight with the exciting fish.

With the fly fishing rod, you can catch bluegills or sunfish in windy conditions from a distance of 20 to 40 feet.

1.9 Steelhead with a fly rod

Steelhead fish lives in clear water or freshwater reserves. It is easy to catch the steelhead with a fly rod using larger bugs or wooly buggers.

The fast action rod and larger bugs go deep into the water, attracting steelhead to the surface. So then you can catch it with your fly technique.

1.10 Crappie with a fly rod

Crappie fish is best known as the top freshwater or open-water fish. They come to the surface of the water to breed and feed. You can easily notice the presence of crappie in shallow water. Crappie is an aggressive fish but you can use jigs with a fly fishing rod to catch them.

However, it is important for you to learn the tips and tricks for catching crappie in different seasons. Winter and spring seasons will enhance your experience of catching crappie. Find these useful guides:

1.11 Tilapia with a fly rod

Tilapia is smart and a bit difficult fish to catch on a fly rod. It is an aggressive fish and you will need patience and top level skill to catch it. 

You can catch tilapia fish with light action rods and a small tackle. It is a lengthy and complicated process, but you can catch it with fly rods.

1.12 Perch with a fly fishing rod

Perch is an exciting fish that you can find in freshwater. The fish swims quickly and it may take a lot of time for an angler to catch it.

The best time to catch perch using a fly fishing rod is in morning. Learn more about catching it from this complete guide.

2. Saltwater fish species to catch with a fly fishing rod

Additionally, fly rods are used to catch fish in the sea. However, it is sometimes difficult to cast from a moving boat or running water. 

Cast the fly line after you have achieved proper balance on the boat or stop the boat for better casting. And fly rods also help you catch big fish from the sea. The saltwater fish to catch on a fly rod are:

  1. Tarpon
  2. Bonefish
  3. Redfish
  4. Snook
  5. Striped bass
  6. Marlin
  7. Tuna
  8. Wahoo
  9. Shark
  10. Barracuda
  11. Sailfish

2.1 Tarpon with a fly rod

Fly rods are beneficial for catching tarpons. They use medium-action rods with light lures. These light lures serve as the original food source for the tarpons and cause them to jump out. 

In turn, this helps catch the baby and large tarpons from saltwater bodies.  

2.2 Bonefish with a fly rod

A bonefish’s behavior makes it suspicious to catch. The medium to fast action rod is most suitable to cast the bonefish. 

They give attention to living shrimps, jigs, and skimmers. So present them with a heavy weight that sinks in the water, and bonefish fly with them. 

2.3 Redfish with a fly rod

Fly rods with medium to fast action are good for catching redfish. You can target the redfish with the help of big shrimps, crabs, or big flies. 

Long fly rods with saltwater reels and lines can be used to catch saltwater redfish. You can catch redfish with it, and it helps the line float. 

2.4 Snook with a fly rod

Snook fish is considered one of the most delicious foods. Fish have the energy to fight with line and lures. Other than June to October, it isn’t easy to catch. 

It is a challenging fish, but you can catch it with the full power and action of rods.

2.5 Striped bass with a fly rod

Almost every year’s season is a great time to catch striped fish. They’re triggered and mad when they see a jigging or multiple closure minnow. 

Medium-heavy rods are ideal for catching striped fish in the saltwater offshore. 

2.6 Marlin with a fly rod

Marlin is one of the most challenging fish to catch for anglers as it usually lives in deep water. The heavy power monofilament line is used on fly rods to catch the marlin. 

The line must be cast in deep water, and the marlin comes from the bottom, making water circles. 

2.7 Tuna with a fly rod

Catching tuna with a fly rod is the most challenging and ultimate experience for anglers. When hooked in line, these fish are impulsive and fight hard. 

Heavy power and action rods help you to bring it out from seawater. 

2.8 Wahoo with a fly rod

Wahoo is an exceptional case to catch with fly rods. When fishing for this fish, fly lines are not used with lures. To make the wahoo troll long distances, hookless lures are cast. 

And when it comes to the surface, make a frequent cast for it. Therefore, catching the wahoo with a fly rod is impressive. 

2.9 Shark with a fly rod

Sharks are usually seen on the flat surface of the water. Medium to heavy flat rods is best for dealing with sharks. 

We use heavy stainless steel wires and many hooks to catch giant sharks. 

2.10 Barracuda with a fly rod

The barracuda is the giant and biggest fish that can catch by using fly rods. They need large prey or live fish baits to imitate. 

This violent and aggressive creature fights badly with the fishing line. You can use stinger hooks and extra power fly rods to catch the saltwater. 

2.11 Sailfish with a fly rod

Various live baits are used to catch sailfish with fly rods. It has dorsal fins and a very stretching body. It is hard to catch once you place the line over the water near your boat.

As it becomes aggressive, it fights with the line. Sailfish bite the line and start moving fast when they bite. So often pulls off the line and catches the sailfish. 


There are various fish species that you can catch with the help of fly fishing rods. The fly rods are versatile, flexible, and available in different lengths, powers, and action types. 

In addition, to live baits and artificial lures, they use vogue food to capture fish. Most fish creatures are hard to catch with fly rods, but your persistent practice and courage will lead you to success. 

We have explained all the types and processes of what fish you can catch with fly rods, and we hope that it will be helpful in your fishing experience.

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